THE Investment Coordination Committee approved six new big-ticket projects with a combined amount of P57.494 billion.
The projects seek to improve road networks and mobilize financial resources for local government units in Mindanao and help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs the committee, said over the weekend the largest amount of P21.194 billion of the new set of approved projects would fund the upgrading of seven gravel roads covering 236.5 kilometers and one 40-km road segment to provide more direct routes and open areas for development in Mindanao.
Dominguez said a project task force was created to monitor the government’s top 75 infrastructure flagship projects worth an estimated P14.989 billion.
The ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved the procurement of seven maritime helicopters to strengthen and expand the Philippine Coast Guard’s capability to respond to maritime incidents during natural calamities.
The procurement plan, which will also involve the training of pilots and technical crew, purchase of mission equipment, maintenance tools and spare parts, construction of hangars and project management, will cost around P5.887 billion.
To help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the committee approved the construction of the P4.607-billion Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and the P1.376-billion Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will involve the construction of a steel bowstring arch bridge with intersecting reclining arches supporting a four-lane deck of about 725 linear meters to connect Intramuros and Binondo through a viaduct over the creek adjacent to the Muelle de Binondo in Manila.
The existing two-lane Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will be expanded to four lanes to increase the road network capacity connecting Makati City at Rockwell Center and Mandaluyong City.
The ICC-Cabinet Committee also approved a P7.919-billion Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility that will support project development and implementation of key infrastructure projects.